I have a large file in a CSV or excel format and want to convert the Lat longs into Northings and Eastings in order to then put them into ArcGIS Desktop and convert those Northings and Eastings into a custom UTM coordinate system, here is the file. https://data.edmonton.ca/City-Administration/Property-Information-Data-Current-Calendar-Year-/dkk9-cj3x

How do I change a few or all of them?

I am unable to convert it into excel and put it into ArcGIS Desktop, that doesn't seem to work as the scale is completely off.

  • 1
    CSV and XLS formats sometimes are imperfect in ArcGIS, both formats can mix number and string in their native format which upsets ArcGIS, I strongly recommend importing the input into a personal geodatabase format with Microsoft Access or equivalent to sanitize the values. Are you interested in creating a python script or is this just a one-off to be converted manually? Are your inputs in degree°minute’seconds format? if so it would be best to convert to decimal degrees but pay special attention to north/south and west/east: north and east are positive values but south and west are negative. Jul 4, 2019 at 1:53
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    Text/number type inconsistencies when importing CSV into ArcGIS should be resulved using a "schema.ini" file in the same location as the CSV. This is Microsoft's method for managing the issue, and works for ArcGIS. See gis.stackexchange.com/questions/284813/… and docs.microsoft.com/en-us/sql/odbc/microsoft/… . BUT, I have tested with the OP's data, and there are no such issues for this CSV file. It drags in to ArcMap from the Catalog view fine. Jul 4, 2019 at 2:56

1 Answer 1


I successfully converted the coordinates in your CSV after downloading it from your link using only ArcMap. (If you're using ArcGIS Pro, it should also work there, but the steps may be a little different.)

Here's what worked for me when I tested with your data in ArcMap:

  • Drag the CSV from the Catalog view into ArcMap's Table Of Contents
  • Right click on the table in the Table Of Contents and choose "Display XY Data" (this creates an XY Event Layer which is now in the table on contents and in the map view). Be sure to select the correct coordinate system during this process for the existing/original coordinates, and don't leave it as the default 'Undefined'. I configured the Coordinate system to be WGS84, but you can specify whatever coordinate system the original data is actually in.
  • Run the 'Project' (management) tool with the new XY Event Layer as input, and specify your preferred coordinate system (you should enter your UTM coordinate system here). This creates a new point feature class at the location/name you specify in the tool. This new feature class is also added to the map as a layer in the Table Of Contents.

Now there is a point feature class in the desired coordinate system (eg, your UTM coordinate system) in my ArcMap document. If you want to convert this back to a CSV/Excel file showing X/Y coordinates in the new (UTM) coordinate system:

  • Run the 'Add Geometry Attributes' (management) tool. Use the new feature class or layer as input and select the 'POINT_X_Y_Z_M' option to add coordinate attributes. This will add 'POINT_X' and 'POINT_Y' attributes and calculate the coordinate values for these attributes (in the new/UTM coordinate system).
  • Right click the layer and 'Open Attribute Table'
  • In the table menu (first icon in the table header), select 'Export...'
  • In the Export dialog, be sure to choose type 'Text File' and give it the extension '.csv'

This CSV file can be opened in Excel and will include both the original lat/lon coordinates AND your new UTM coordinates (ie, in metres, if UTM).

If this does not work for you, please explain in detail what went wrong at what point. What happened that you did not expect, or what did not happen that you did expect. What error messages, etc.

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